Spare Change


It feels dishonest to call her a dime,

a penny, a nickel, or a quarter.

A fifty-cent piece doesn’t do it

and even a silver dollar falls short.


She doesn’t slip nicely between the folds

of my freshly bought dark brown wallet

like a twenty dollar bill, creased over

from its dozens of previous owners.


She might shine like spare change;

jingle like a pocketful of coins,

perhaps even grin like a president,

but to me, she’s priceless.



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They told me the girl on the street corner

was a dime a dozen. Which is why,

when we stopped at the red light,

they threw coins at her

before speeding off, laughing

like little pigs, all the way home.

They didn’t see in the rear-view mirror

how she fell to her knees, crying,

scrounging to pick up the loose change.


Perhaps that’s why when I saw her

marching down the aisle

at the dirty supermarket

I couldn’t help but ask her

why such a dame would scamper

after a few dozen nickels.


And she told me that in life

we all just scrounge for enough change

to make our empty selves feel whole,

even if, in the end, we are just half dollars.


It was then I felt a prick,

and I told her, if she wanted,

that I would buy her a drink,

pay a penny for her thoughts,

and we could chat the night away.


She agreed with a smile, on the condition

that I wouldn’t be charging any hidden fees

or sticking her backside with my taxes.


It was a pro bono night, indeed.


The next morning I walked her home,

and we stopped at the same street corner.

She found a penny, heads up.

It’s your lucky day she told me,

handing Abe over to me.

I cupped it in her palm and told her

luck be you, m’lady.



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Dean’s Order PT. 1

Venti, decaf, hot

Skinny mocha with no foam

And something for you.


Dean’s Order PT. 2

Line is out the door

And the rain is pouring down.

What took you so long?


Dean’s Order PT. 3

Since you took so long

I will need you to stay late

To answer the phones.


Dean’s Order PT. 4

Go get the mail

They said there was a package

Labeled for my use.


Dean’s Order PT. 5

Thank you for your work

But we are letting you go.

Go clean out your desk.



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Money Talks

All this money talks

Yet I don’t speak its language

Because talk is cheap.



I looked at the desk,

And thought to myself, “what luck!”

They got it in brown.



The perceptive dog

Will live more in its short life

Than the vain master.



Now that is power.

To still fire with their eyes;

Not extinguish it.



Single grains of rice

Do not provide sustenance

When eaten alone.



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He’s riding the wind

On the backs of his people

Hoping to succeed.



Someone spilled the glue

And now the table is stuck.

Just like we all are.


The Office

“Please, DO THE MAIL,”

Read the orange sign at my desk

As the clock strikes ten.


Break Time!

The ducklings waddle.

They’re on their way to the pond

For a brief respite.


The Next Bill Gates

His shirt had a stain,

And his hair was in a mess,

Not fit for the job.


Hello everyone,


Let’s talk about being broke. You’re broke, I’m broke. We’re all broke. Well, not all of us, but hey, this is the world we live in. If you’re reading this, you probably have some curiosities about financial aspects. First off, I’m not a banker. I don’t have any monetary ties, and these are just opinions. If you are in serious financial trouble, I recommend talking to a professional (though preferably someone you know, since my financial friends tell me that some people in the business like to “hustle” customers).

Now, if you have ever read the Penny Hoarder, you have a few cool ideas about saving money or earning more. And that’s fine—I mean, the reason I’m writing this is because I read a post on their website about saving money. Living paycheck to paycheck is hard. That’s pretty simple and if that’s your life, you know it. Solving that problem can be pretty hard. Some people can build budgets, and work within them, but often times that is difficult because we want to have luxuries, either for ourselves or for our family. This is a hard reality, but sometimes luxuries are just that—something extra that you can’t get. If you really want to save your money, you need to cut down on or completely remove the luxuries in your life right now, so that you can have more in the future.

Let me give you an example. You have a ritual of getting coffee every morning at McDonald’s, because Starbucks is too expensive, but you really need that cup of caffeine in the morning. This is a luxury. You don’t need that coffee, you just have lulled yourself into the idea that you need it. Many societies lived for years without it. But ok, maybe you need the caffeine and you won’t budge on that. Can you find an alternative? Buy bags of coffee and make it at home? Or maybe switch to a cheaper tea? Sure, it’s not as great, but if it get’s the job done, does it matter?

Of course, if you’ve been penny pinching already, then this might seem obvious. You probably are already pouring yourself half cups of coffee from the cheapest bag possible. But try to apply that to the rest of your life. Are you sure there’s nothing you could cut out or down on? Gym memberships are a big one I hear about people wasting. $20 per month. That’s nothing right? Wrong, that’s $240 a year. So many people have gym memberships for a treadmill and some dumbbells. If you are a legit bodybuilder person, this doesn’t apply to you, because you need those machines, but guess what everyone else! You can run at the park and you can do push up on any sidewalk. Do exercises right in your living room, and you have an extra $240 for your Christmas shopping. It doesn’t have to be a gym membership, but find the excess in life, and minimize it’s cost.

The Penny Hoarder does a good job at looking at new apps and things like sending your spam mail somewhere to be processed for a couple dollars, and that’s cool, but it can be a hassle and that’s really just a way for them to make money. And there’s nothing wrong with that—I mean, they have to make money like everyone else. But all these plans like “save $5 a month every month for a year, and you’ll have $60 extra in December” are no brainers. But you don’t need MORE money, you need to be more efficient with your money (ok, well, maybe you do need more money, but minimum wage is crap and you have to work with the money you currently have. You could probably be more efficient). For me, it’s easier. I’m not currently paying rent, I don’t have kids, and so on. BUT, that doesn’t mean I go out every weekend. In fact, I very rarely go out, and I very rigidly decide what I spend my money on. Why? Because going out every week can be expensive. You will regularly spend $12 or more a head on a meal if you go out. Don’t even factor in drinks.

The whole point of the Penny Hoarder, and other sites like it, are to give you tips on how to be more efficient with your money. But that’s the problem—it’s your money. You choose how you spend it. So stop making the choice that leaves you struggling. Or, if you have no good choices, make the choice that makes you struggle the least. And I don’t mean mental struggles—your well being is important, but if you can’t feed yourself or live with a roof over your head, you’re going to end up worse for ware. Take the 6 months of extra mental weight so that you have the security blanket to not have to have those mental struggles down the line. And to those of you that are already doing this and still struggling…I’m sorry. The truth is that sometimes you can only pinch yourself so dry before something breaks. The system is against you, and there isn’t much you can do. But, that doesn’t mean you should despair. Despair leads to mental paralysis, and you don’t have to have that. In that 20 minutes of free time you get, or 5 minutes, or whatever it is, look for a new job. Craft a way to ask for more money at the job you have. You deserve it. Don’t tell yourself you don’t. You really do.


Hello everyone,


Happy Tuesday, the most productive day of the week. Ironically, also the day I have the least amount of time to write on my blog. Anyways, I wanted to talk briefly about progress. Specifically, I read a chapter on progress for a class recently that changed how I thought about it. Progress is typically thought of historically as a good thing. If we are always moving forwards, we are always progressing to a higher plane of existence. This implies better lives, happier people, less work, and so on. Except that’s not where we are.

Let’s look at the United States as an example. To use Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric, people are working longer hours for less pay. And yet, no doubt, people will say things today are better than they were 100 year ago. Sure, this is true in many ways for race, sex, and so on, that things are “better,” but in doing so people have been…I don’t know, silenced? It’s almost like because things are somewhat better we are expected to shut up and be happy about it. If you were being tortured 5 days a week, and then a few months later they dropped your torture time down to 3 days a week, should you be happy? No! You’re still being tortured! Obviously this is a bit of an unfair analogy to make, but work regulations have been a pretty massive problem in our society for far too long. People complain about unions being unnecessary, but these are the same people who used to believe that it was ok to put children through 12 hour work days (I mean, maybe not literally, but they are their spiritual successors).

Ok, well let’s just say that unions are not perfect, but they are important to employer-employee discussions, since that’s a whole barrel of another topic. Progress, as it is currently thought about, may not be progress in reality. In creating a “better” system for humankind, we have also decimated our ecosystem. This reading I mentioned earlier, titled Lies My Teacher Told Me, written by James W. Loewen, presents the position that our so-called great, developed country is actually keeping other countries from “developing” in the same way. This is because, the way we waste energy and resources compared to other countries is insane. If every country on Earth were like this, the planet would become a desert wasteland. Which nobody wants to live in.

So how do we fix this? Well, short answer is that we have to put regulations in. But in terms of the problem with “progress,” we have to think more about the negative effects of our work, rather than just focusing on the positives. That’s how we end up with damaged ozone layers and deforestation problems. That’s how we end up with The Great Barrier Reef being declared dead (though just a portion of it is, there’s still time to save it if we work hard). We need to be more considerate. What do you think? Is that unreasonable to do?


Hello everyone,


Let’s talk about our almighty ruler today. The dollar. Today’s writing was inspired by a friend’s post on Facebook. He asked how much more a job would have to pay to justify moving states for work. Which is quite a loaded question, and I gave him a short answer since I have no doubt that a long form answer probably won’t be something that he will read. I also used watered down examples because I think exact numbers might be harder for him to grasp conceptually—I know they would be for me. I’ll also be doing this in examples today. Let’s get into it!

So lets say that at your current job you make $20,000 (moving forward I’ll refer to numbers like this as “20K”), and living expenses in that location cost 15K. The job you would be moving to pays the same, however the living expenses of the area are only 10K. That’s 5K more in your wallet per year. Which is nothing to scoff over. Moving costs, what, maybe 5K? So your first year is a little tight, but as you settle in, things have a significant up tick.

Let’s take another example. Let say your job has a significant increase in pay from your current job. 50K, instead of 20K. Living expenses in that area are 25K. I think you can figure out for yourself that this is significantly better net pay than either of the other jobs. That said, what if this new job also requires more hours out of you? That average American works roughly 45 hours per week, to my understanding. If your old job only made you work 35 hours a week, and this new one requires 50 hours, you suddenly have lost a lot of free time to explore life.

This accounts for one of the more difficult aspects of moving, because it is not easily quantifiable. What if you’re really close to your family, but this move will leave you across the country from them? What if you absolutely hate your family but your dad owns the business that is offering you this new job? What if your partner has a good job at home, and would have to find a new one or leave you? Suddenly it’s not so simple. And I don’t have an answer for you. But I do know that, at the end of the day, while money can’t buy happiness, it can produce more avenues to happiness. If you can live without seeing your family constantly, but want to still have access to them, maybe that new job is good. Enough extra money means you could fly back for a weekend to visit them every once in a while.

Of course, there are so many factors to moving that it’s hard to say for sure. But if it is for a job, factor in more than just an increase in pay, because you could end up with a real problem on your hands if your living expenses are too high when compared to how much you are making. At least, that’s my two cents on the issue. What do you think? Am I totally wrong? Are there factors I missed? Let me know!